Two Texas men pulled over in a traffic stop on Interstate 10 told officers they were going to Orlando with the four children in their pickup, and according to narcotics officials, with about 200 pounds of marijuana.
A patrol unit stopped a 2009 Ford F150 crew-cab pickup on traffic violations around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday near mile marker 26 on I-10.
Harrison County sheriff’s Capt. Troy Peterson said officers received permission to search the truck and found the marijuana in a tool box in the back of the pickup. About 200 pounds of marijuana has an estimated street value of $200,000.
Investigators arrested Brandon Dale Wade, 34, of Houston, and Ronny Jay Rice, 41, of Cypress, Texas, on charges of possession with intent to distribute.
One of the men is the father of the four children, Peterson said. Two girls and two boys, ages 2 to 11, were taken into protective custody by the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
Justice Court Judge Gene Dedeaux set the men’s bonds at $200,000 each. They were booked at the Harrison County jail in Gulfport.
State law sets the maximum penalty for trafficking marijuana at 30 years in prison.